Experts says most houses in Nigeria are without access to clean cooking. The experts from Malabo Montpellier Panel in their report titled “In Energized: Policy innovation to power the transformation of Africa’s agriculture and food system,” said that access to clean energy will improve productivity at smallholder level to alleviate poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
“Access to reliable, affordable and sustainable sources of energy to prepare land, plant, harvest, process, distribute and cook food will ensure that Africa’s agricultural sector can respond to this demand, all within the context of climate change and scarce natural resources,” said Ousmane Badiane, co-chair of the Malabo Montpellier Panel.
He said that universal access to cleaner sources of energy is key to enhancing production, processing and consumption of nutritious food in a rapidly urbanizing African continent.
The report from leading African scholars said the continent can leverage off-grid projects to boost uptake of clean energy among small-holders and revolutionize food production systems.
With seven in 10 Nigerian households using wood in traditional three stone or metal tripod stoves, our country has the largest number of households without access to clean cooking in Africa. When this cooking system is converted to compulsory heating method, the result will be a wholesale slow-murder. According to the WHO, smoke from the kitchen results to about 93,000 deaths in Nigeria annually. After malaria and HIV/AIDS, this is the third highest killer of mostly women and children in Nigeria. With the cold weather, smoke will no longer be restricted to the kitchen, thereby doubling the risk.
Therefore, instead of shedding vicarious tears for the people of Australia, we should start weeping for ourselves. Even so, let this year’s peculiar Harmattan wake us from our slumber. Climate change is real, and it is right here with us. Failure to adapt will prove disastrous in the near future. Our engineers should start thinking of climate-friendly designs, for our houses, our roads and our bridges. Let our government start thinking deep, not only on how to adapt to climate change, but also how to join the international community to mitigate it. Our educators should tweak our school curriculum: we and our children need to know that, environmentally speaking, tomorrow is unpredictable.
Eastwest Reporters Editors view